Official statistics show more deaths in patients admitted to hospital at weekends

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 27 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5797
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

Patients admitted to an NHS hospital in England at the weekend in 2015-16 were 15% more likely to die within 30 days than those admitted during the week, an official analysis of the statistics shows.1

Furthermore, those discharged at the weekend were more likely to be readmitted as an emergency within seven days, and Sunday discharge was associated with a 40% higher readmission rate than discharge on a Wednesday. Friday and Saturday discharges were also linked to increased readmission rates, by 9% and 27%, respectively.

The mortality rates calculated by NHS Digital (formerly the Health and Social Care Information Centre) were very similar to those of Nick Freemantle and colleagues published in The BMJ,2 which is not surprising, as the same methodology was used. The readmission data were new, and NHS Digital has produced tables …

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